(CNN)Former President Jimmy Carter’s charity on Tuesday said “America must come to grips with its long history of systemic racism” in a forceful statement following the fatal shooting last week of a black man by an Atlanta police officer and weeks of protests against racial injustice and police brutality across the nation.
“The death of yet another African American man, Rayshard Brooks, at the hands of police in Atlanta last week once again emphasizes that America must come to grips with its long history of systemic racism and ensure full respect for and protection of the human rights of all, as established in our Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the Atlanta-based Carter Center said in a released statement.The statement comes after Brooks, 27, was shot dead by an officer at a Wendy’s drive-thru in Atlanta after police moved to handcuff him for suspected driving under the influence, according to videos from the scene. The incident followed weeks of national protests demanding an end to systemic racism and police reforms following the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.”Throughout our nation’s history, excessive use of force against African Americans by police and others has continued with impunity. In our own city and state, recent killings and the failure of the state to prosecute perpetrators of anti-Black violence have shocked the nation and caused special grief to Georgians already reeling from the killing of Ahmaud Arbery and the painful recognition that racially motivated attacks are commonplace in the U.S.,” the Carter Center said. “While Black Americans have lived this reality for hundreds of years, many other Americans are only just confronting this painful violence due to video evidence that brutally lays bare the injustices that have long been present,” the statement continued, adding that “now is the time for deep and sometimes painful, but necessary reflection – followed by concerted action.”Read MoreREAD: Former President Jimmy Carter's statement on the death of George FloydCarter said in a statement following Floyd’s death last month that “silence can be as deadly as violence,” and called on Americans in positions of “power, privilege, and moral conscience” to fight racial discrimination. “People of power, privilege, and moral conscience must stand up and say ‘no more’ to a racially discriminatory police and justice system, immoral economic disparities between whites and blacks, and government actions that undermine our unified democracy. We are responsible for creating a world of peace and equality for ourselves and future generations,” he said at the time.”We need a government as good as its people, and we are better than this.”Earlier Tuesday, President Donald Trump took his first concrete steps to address the growing national outcry in announcing an executive order that, among other steps, creates a federal database of police officers with a history of using excessive force.The order comes as Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are working to advance two competing police reform bills, with the Democratic legislation going further in several respects by banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants. The Carter Center added Tuesday that “as an international organization based in the United States, we lament that true equality has not been achieved in our country.” “As we work in solidarity with local and national partners, we will continue to seek their wisdom to ensure that all of our programs reflect an understanding of history.”This story has been updated with more of the Carter Center’s statement.